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Chrome: Custom Search Engines and SSL

Google Chrome, the best browser available right now, has a unique way of handling custom search engines versus its competitors Firefox and IE. Instead of using plugins, in Chrome search engines can be added via the URL + query string used by whatever site you want to search in the Omnibox. In many cases Chrome will auto-detect websites that are universally searchable and add those entries to the search engine list. You can then go into the “Manage search engines” area and assign a custom keyword for use in the Omnibox.This list is contained in the Basics page of the Options. Keywords in Chrome work the same way they do in Firefox.

With the ability to create custom search engines, you should search using SSL absolutely everywhere possible. The importance of internet security will only continue to escalate and using SSL even when you don’t have to is a great place to start. I created a new custom Google search engine to connect to encrypted.google.com and made it the default, for example. Most of Google’s sites support a secure connection method.

Here are some of the useful custom search engines I’ve created. Put these strings in the “URL with %s in place of query” box and define a name and keyword of your choosing:

Encrypted Google: https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&as_q=%s

Android Market: https://market.android.com/search?q=%s

Google maps: https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=%s 

Also make sure to enable the search engine sync feature in “about:flags” to keep your custom list on all PCs you run Chrome on.

Use a simple or single letter keyword and you have a very easy and versatile search solution.

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